It’s the end of an actual decade of watching Game of Thrones together. I introduced my husband to the books many years ago, after one of my longtime besties, Kim, stayed persistent and made me read them. I refused for so long because the book jacket looked cheesy as hell — I think there was a white guy on his steed in the forest with a snowy castle in the background (Winterfell, probably) — and the first couple chapters were about spooky ghost folks in the woods, so I passed.
I know there are probably better books out there — more inclusive, less incest, more women, less wangs — but at the time, I’d never read a “fantasy series” before. Reading Game of Thrones opened me up to a whole new genre of books, and gave Justin and I something to enjoy together. When the show started, I was really excited; HBO’s been Top Shelf TV-Watching since its inception, so my expectations were high.
GOOD BOOKS + HBO + BUDGET would surely = 100.
On the whole, it’s been good entertainment. I didn’t love this season but overall, I loved the characters, the twists & turns, and motherfucking dragons. This show was the definition of extra. I don’t know why this season had to be split like it was, or if the story was best served by 6 long episodes instead of 12 normal ones. My preference would have been 12 episodes with some real time given to wrapping up storylines we’ve followed for a decade now. They did a good job of making us feel like it was our show, but in the end, it was really David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s show — with a little George R. R. thrown in. I didn’t like the direction it went in the end, which is clear from my recent recaps, but sometimes that’s how shit goes down. We’re not guaranteed anything, no matter how attached or invested we are. Perhaps George will surprise us all and write a different ending for the book series. He has an incredible opportunity now to redirect this rudderless ship.
I do have empathy for the show runners, in that it has to be hard to put so much work into this epic creation, and then have most people agree you shit the bed at the end of it. While I’ve already named some of the things that would have made this season more palatable, I still respect the whole production, the actors, the people behind the scenes, the cinematography, the sets, the sheer boldness of it all. On the writer’s room: I hope there’s a lesson about representation and inclusivity to be learned, for these writers or anyone bringing a show this big to the screen, and that they’ll think about how to round out future rooms — and therefore the story — instead of closing ranks and throwing a predictable penis party.
Want to watch a great show written by women or a diverse writer’s staff? Here are five:
- 30 Rock
- Killing Eve
- Broad City
Here’s five more:
- Sex Education
- Jane the Virgin
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
- Grace & Frankie
Speaking of crazy, I look forward to seeing how they resolve the Daenerys storyline tonight. Death, I assume. Even though I don’t like how they got her there, we always knew Targaryens were *touched*, and we saw her go dragon ham on whole swaths of people throughout the series. I just thought the timing was crap — like three episodes before the series finale, you’re gonna start chanting “THIS BIH MENTAL” ?? Give a girl a story arc, man.
I’d like to take a moment to recognize all of the kings on this show who, despite their obvious madness or enraging personal and professional failings, still got to be in charge of human people and wreaked havoc over seven kingdoms for how many years thanks to a bevy of egotistical power wangs:
Aerys II Targaryen, The OG Mad King (Daenerys’ father): Torture enthusiast.
King Robert Baratheon, The Usurper: Started a whole war that killed tons of people over a girl.
Viserys Targaryen, The Beggar King (Daenerys’ brother): Cruel and vicious, sold his sister for a crown.
Joffrey Baratheon, The Illborn: Amoral sadist who executed his fiancée’s father and enthusiastic abuser of women.
Tommen Baratheon, The Boy King: Though young, he was dangerous and ineffective as a king by transferring power to the High Sparrow and Faith Militant.
Stannis Baratheon, King of Dragonstone: Killed his brother, Renly Baratheon, The King In The South, with a cave-dwelling shadow monster that came from a 400-year old witch’s business.
Balon Greyjoy, King of The Iron Islands: Famously tried to take his own crown. Murdered by his brother, Euron.
Euron Greyjoy, King of Salt and Rock: Saltwife rapist, murderer, madman, Mick Jagger of The Seven Seas.
Ramsay Bolton, Bastard of The Bolton, Lord of Winterfell: Psychopath rapist, murderer, flayer of living things.
Robb Stark, King In The North: It seems like people are in agreement that he would have been the best leader and throne-sitter. But a good leader does what’s best for the realm, and he chose romantic love with a nobody over a sound political alliance, which led to The Red Wedding, so.
Jon Snow, King In The North: I know we all love Jongon for various reasons, but he’s becoming Harry Potter-ish to me, like Untouchable despite always being bailed out by his friends. He went on that bonkers expedition. He used to be dead. He’s sleeping with his aunt. He was mean to his dog. Are these the signs of a responsible leader?
Mance Rayder, King Beyond the Wall: “He was the best of us, and the worst, as well.” One of the better ones.
All these abusive jagoffs with questionable everything but Daenerys is too over the top? Okay, I guess she tried to kill everyone but damn, can you let a bitch live???
I low-key hope Jon Snow dies. I kind of hope they all die. Why isn’t there more dying on this show? THIS SHOW USED TO GIVE US DEATH. SWEET, SURPRISING, HORRIFYING, DIDN’T-SEE-THAT-COMING, BONE-SHATTERING DEATH. WHERE IS DEATH NOW
*screams into the death void*
I hope I’m surprised tonight. I hope there’s a feeling of closure. I would even enjoy “bittersweet” or “Was that Apocalypse Now?” Fingers crossed they pull off something enjoyable. If not, let’s just remember our faves and never speak of this again.
I enjoyed a lot of this series, so maybe we can speak of it from time to time and just leave Season 8 out. Already brainstorming what to recap next: movies or tv shows? I watch them all. If you have suggestions, throw them at me with all your might.
Pour one out for Game of Thrones, the final episode. I’ll post the recap tomorrow!